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To arrange a media interview with Ellie Smeal or other spokespersons at Feminist Majority Foundation, contact the FMF media department at 703-522-2214.


Date: February-24-97

Statement by Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation, on Army of God Letter and Atlanta Bombings

The letter from the Army of God claiming responsibility for the January bombing of an Atlanta abortion clinic and Fridays bombing of an Atlanta lesbian bar must be taken seriously.

For years, we have been aware of the Army of God and its terrorist activities directed at abortion clinics and clinic personnel. The Army of God first gained national visibility in 1982 with the kidnapping of Dr. Hector Zevallos, an abortion provider, and his wife in Granite City, Illinois. Members of the Army of God claimed responsibility for and were later convicted of the kidnapping. In 1994, an Army of God manual on bombing and terrorism was dug up in the backyard of Shelley Shannon of Oregon, who was later convicted for the shooting of Dr. George Tiller and some 30 counts of arson and bombings in the Pacific Northwest.

For some time, we have believed that a group of people have been acting in concert to terrorize abortion clinics. We have been saying that these extremists are not single issue and that they believe in justifiable homicide against lesbians and gay men and adulterers as well as abortion providers.

Extremists are putting their religious beliefs above the U.S. Constitution. Or they are using religion as a cover not only to threaten the lives of those who believe in reproductive choice and choice in lifestyles, but democracy itself. More law enforcement resources must be allocated to cracking this reign of terror and this investigation must not treat the Atlanta bombings as isolated events.